Vet Services Hawkes Bay Ltd

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Preparing yourself and your pet for euthanasia. Your pet’s final journey

Preparing yourself and your pet for euthanasia. Your pet’s final journey

We always fear losing our pets. Nevertheless, sometimes it is inevitable that we need to make this decision.

We hope this article helps answer any questions you may have and gives you a better understanding of what to expect for you, your family and your precious pet when it comes time to make that decision.

Staff at Vet Services all know first-hand how upsetting it is when we need to say the final goodbye to our beloved pet.

As much of a sad time this is, we always want to make it as easy and stress-free as we can for you, your pet and your family.

If you have never had a pet put to sleep before, and even if you have, this can be a very distressing time, so knowing what is actually involved prior to the day can help.

There are some decisions to make and options that you will need to decide upon and this is best done prior to the day if you can. We recommend you come in and talk to one of our nurses or office staff, or talk to us on the phone. Our staff will go through everything with you from the procedure to options for cremation if this is what you are wanting to do.

What to expect:

When you arrive at the clinic, a staff member will move you into a consult room for privacy. The vet will come in and talk to you and answer any questions you may have around the procedure. The vet will require you to sign a consent form to go ahead with euthanasia. (This can be done in advance).

A catheter (like a needle) may be placed in your pet’s front leg. This is done while you wait in the consult room and allows easy access to the vein. A sedation may also be used which takes 5-10mins to take effect. While this takes effect you can spend some time with your pet (have a cuddle in the consult room). The sedation helps relax your pet as some pets become distressed when they come into the clinic.

The nurse will assist the vet and help hold your precious pet to allow the vet to administer the medication (which is an anaesthetic) into the vein. It takes around 5-10seconds to reach the brain, in which time your pet will go to sleep. Your vet will give an overdose of the anaesthetic which causes your pet to slip away. It is a very quick and pain free procedure. Once your vet has administered all of the medication, they will check your pet’s heart beat to ensure it has stopped beating. They will ask if you would like to spend some time before they take care of him/her for cremation or take him/her to your car.

If you would prefer to not be present for the euthanasia, one of our nurses will cuddle and hold your pet and treat him/her like their own.

You are more than welcome to stay as long as you need at the clinic before driving home. A cup of tea and a biscuit is always available to you. We understand how hard these decisions can be.

What to expect once your pet has passed


  • Sick and older animals can take slightly longer to pass than younger healthy pets.
  • Stiffness can occur quite quickly after passing which is a result of the muscles contracting.
  • Eyes usually stay open.
  • Occasionally gasping occurs, which is a reflex once your pet has passed.
  • Urination and defecation is normal as the body relaxes.


 Some questions that may be asked are:


  • Do you want to come into the clinic or would you rather a home visit?
  • Do you want to stay during the procedure?
  • Would you rather not be present?                             
  • Would you like to take him/her home to bury?
  • Would you prefer cremation and what type of urn/box?
  • Would you like us to take care of him/her afterwards for you?
  • Signing off consent form and any other questions or queries you may have.


Please contact us and we will help you through the journey.

There are also counselling services available if you need help through the grieving process.




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